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Commission grants

This programme aims to help museums, galleries and visual arts organisations commission and acquire important new work by contemporary artists.

Commissioning new works of art for museum collections can help to forge closer relationships with artists and audiences – and commissioned work often has a singular ability to respond and reveal new aspects to collections or places.

We recognise the different ways in which this can happen, and will consider proposals for exceptional projects with significant public impact.

Beyond supporting museums to commission, we consider partnerships between commissioning agencies and museums, or other institutions who want to commission work that will have a long-term legacy.

Within this category our criteria include:

  • commissions that result in an acquisition or gift of work that is either part of a museum’s collection and/or permanently situated in a place that is accessible to the public
  • commissions which will artistically enrich collections and support their expansion and development
  • commissions of significant national or regional relevance judged to be of good museum quality
  • commissions where there is associated touring or public programme linked to the commission or acquisition

Commissions are considered on a case-by-case basis. All commissions must be discussed prior to beginning an application so that we fully understand the scope of the work, commissioning process and your plans for long-term display, care and access.

Who should apply

Public museums, galleries, historic houses, libraries and archives, agencies and other visual arts organisations in the UK or Channel Islands that:

  • have a public presence (e.g. a building open to the public) or a public outcome (e.g. a festival or public art programme)
  • can demonstrate that they operate to standards of best practice within the sector (e.g. through Arts Council England accreditation)

Funds available

Main grants
A grant falls under the main grants funding stream if the grant awarded would be above £7,500 and/or where the total cost of the work is £15,000 or above.

Main grants are considered at one of five Trustee meetings which take place across the year. Please contact us to find out the upcoming application deadlines. A meeting normally takes place one month after the application deadline.

Small grants
A grant falls under the small grants funding stream if the grant awarded would be £7,500 or less and where the total cost of the work is £15,000 or less.

Small grants are considered on a rolling basis. You can apply at any time and we aim to get you a decision within six weeks, subject to volume of business and receipt of all required information.

Get in touch

The programmes team are happy to talk to you about your proposals at any stage and will give informal advice as you are developing your plans.

Please contact:

Robert Dingle, programme partnerships manager
020 7225 4871

If he is unavailable, please contact the team on 020 7225 4865.

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